Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Makers' Marks
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Silver Standards of the World

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Silver in its pure form is a very soft metal, consequently, when objects are created from silver, it is almost always alloyed with another metal to give it strength and durability. Historically, copper is the metal most commonly used to alloy silver. The metals are blended together in a molten state and the proportion of silver to copper defines the alloy's purity or fineness. When a specific fineness is used predominantly or compulsorily in any region or country, it is known as the silver standard. Differing silver standards have been known by many names and measured within differing systems throughout history. Over the last 150 years or so, for ease of understanding and uniformity, a decimal measuring system has come into use. Within this system an alloy of 92.5% silver + 7.5% copper = .925 silver, the decimal number indicates the amount of pure silver in parts per thousandth.

The list below is an attempt to identify the various standards most commonly used in different countries over the last five hundred years. It is far from complete and will remain a work in progress. Corrections and additions are welcomed by way of the website's "Silver Forum"




World Decimal Standards
  • .1000  - Japan

  •   .999  - Fine Silver - accepted by member nations of the *Hallmarking Convention

  •   .980  - Mexico [common in the 1930s]

  •   .970  - Mexico

  •   .959  - Czechoslovakia, Czech Republic

  •   .958  - U.K. [Britannia]

  •   .950  - France [1er titre], Japan, U.S. [2nd H. 19th C. on some better quality]
                 Netherlands [until 1814], Switzerland, Italy, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary

  •   .948  - Russia [91 Zolotniki]

  •   .940  - Poland, Mexico

  •   .935  - Austria, Germany, Switzerland

  •   .934  - Netherlands [until 1953]

  •   .930  - Netherlands [w/pseudomarks 19 C.], Germany, Israel, Palestine

  •   .925  - U.K. [Sterling], U.S. [Sterling - since c.1870], Ireland [Sterling], Denmark [since1893],
                 Netherlands [current], Israel. It is evolving into a worldwide standard.

  •   .916  - Finland, Poland[after 1963], Portugal [after 1886], Russia [88 Zolotniki], Romania,
                 Spain [before 1934], Latvia

  •   .915  - Spain [after 1934]

  •   .900  - U. S. [Coin - prior to c.1870], China, Argentina, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Yugoslavia,
                 Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Japan, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon

  •   .875  - Russia [84 Zolotniki], Baltic States, Finland, Poland, Switzerland, Romania, Latvia

  •   .844  - Denmark [13½ Lødigt], Norway (18th C.)

  •   .840  - Iran

  •   .835  - Germany, Netherlands [current], Belgium, Austria, Portugal [current]

  •   .833  - Portugal [after 1886], Netherlands [until 1953], Denmark [after 1800], Norway [18th C.]

  •   .830  - Norway [after 1892], Denmark [after 1972], Sweden, Finland, Portugal [current]

  •   .826  - Denmark [13¼ Lødigt] [1893 - 1972], Norway [before 1892]

  •   .813  - Germany [13 Loth], Finland

  •   .800  - Germany, Italy, France [2éme titre], Netherlands [until 1814], Poland, Portugal [current],
                 Switzerland, Spain, Argentina, Japan, Romania, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon

  •   .750  - Germany & Prussia [12 Loth], Italy, Spain, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Poland
                 Hungary, Romania

  •   .700  - Lebanon

  •   .687  - Germany [11 Loth]

  •   .625  - Germany [10 Loth]

  •   .600  - Egypt
     *  "Hallmarking Convention" member nations as of 2007 - Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
Convention on the Control and Marking of Articles of Precious Metals




Thanks to forum members: Bahner, byron mc, Doos, dragonflywink, gto, Hose_dk, Novokoz, Scotprov & Theoderich for their contributions to this page.

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